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Old 11-16-2008, 03:38 PM
3,353 posts, read 4,280,638 times
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So...my dog is hit or miss with other dogs on leash. We are going to start private training, and the trainer said today not to take her in the dog park with other dogs. So I took her to the park itself and walked her around the perimeter of the large dog park so she could be near them through the fence but safe for all.

There was a sign on the small dog park that the area could be used for training if there are no small dog in there. There weren't any in there, and I don't have a yard, so I was psyched to give my dog the chance to run at top speed off leash! So we went in there and she had a great time for about 15-20 minutes just going crazy. All the while I looked toward the gate for new dogs.

Then this woman approached with her large golden retriever. I told her if she'd wait a moment we would leave - she said her dog is great with other dogs. I told her that mine (as I was saying this I was trying to get ahold of my dog to leave) may not be good with other dogs and I just adopted her. Before I could finish her dog was through the gate and inside with mine. So now I'm nervous and of course can't get my dog at all.

So they started out ok. Hers was a male and a very yellow golden, thank God. Mine was chasing hers and kept jumping on his back, totally dominating him. So I'm like, that's it we are out of her. Meanwhile I couldn't get her collar. The other dog was totally good natured about this. Then I saw her hackles come up and I finally got ahold of her collar before a fight broke out.

The stupid owner would not help out here at all. She half-heartedly called her dog.

I got mine on the leash and was trying to leave when some poor guy with his teeny maltese went into the gate - great, now I can't go through there until the maltese is out of the way, and the golden is still hanging around mine, who is now nearly pulling me off my feet to get at the golden (but wasn't growling.) THEN all of the big dogs came to the fence so mine was REALLY pulling and we finally got out of there.

I walked her around the perimeter one more time because her trainer said last time she got into a scuffle that it was good they had to hang around each other (separated) for a bit.

And then she growled fiercely at a boston terrier.

1) I nearly cried because finally my dog had some off leash time that got ruined
2) the golden's owner is a moron - I was in the small dog park alone and if her dog is so great with other dogs why wasn't it in the large park or why didn't she just wait until I left, I was trying to leave
3) I am really upset that my dog is aggresive to other dogs. She starts out wanting to play but totally tries to dominate and if this hadn't been a mellow other dog it would have been really bad.

Help? Critique/advice/hopeful words are welcomed...
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:49 PM
Location: Maine
398 posts, read 1,204,777 times
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No advice here, but our dogs are not good with other dogs either. We have never had any incidents, but the male loves to dominate other males. If a dog shows any aggression toward him, then all bets are off. Again, no issues yet, but he will bare his teeth. The female is no help, she just barks incessantly trying to instigate her brother. Anyway, we will not go to dog parks and never approach other dogs with them. We make them sit when other dogs pass while on the trail/road (which is a joy trying to control them), but we've just learned to deal with it.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:50 PM
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This happens to me alot! My dog is not doggie friendly either and one thing we learned in obedience training is not to let your dog or other dogs come up to each other. I don't get how some people just don't get that. When walking her in the park, people will want to come over to let their dog "greet" mine and I tell them NO, stay there, my dog isn't friendly and they say "mine is, it'll be okay" and I keep repeating for them to stay away. Sheesh!
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:00 PM
7,079 posts, read 35,536,547 times
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Dogsarecool, I know exactly what you're talking about. This happens to me all the time: my pug doesn't like big dogs when he's on the leash (off leash he just ignores them). There are SO many stupid people!

To the OP, I think you need to stay away from dog parks for the time being. Not a good idea to even attempt this for a bit. Every dog has a distance at which it starts to become uncomfortable with another dog, if it has issues with other dogs. That's what you're going to be working on diminishing with the trainer.

In the meantime, try taking a look at Turid Rugaas' website:Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community. She is an animal behaviorist and an expert in canine body language. She has wonderful insight into reading your dog's behavior from it's body language.
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:03 PM
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 12,629,217 times
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Some dogs just do not like other dogs. This is usually the case of an older dog who was never socialized. I went to obedience class with my Mom and her Beagle years ago. There was a little boy with his Mom there too. They had a mixed cute mutt, but aggressive at 5 months old. He wanted to attack and bite every dog in the class. To make a long story short, my Moms beagle failed the class of course (beagles are very stubborn), but the little boys dog ended up playing nice with every other dog in the class!
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:22 PM
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Thanks guys - I knew the trainer didn't want me to take her in to the dog play area with the other dogs, and I know she would be ok with me walking her in the regular park on a leash and on the other side of the fence...I thought that she was ok in the training area alone and WAY underestimated the fact that other owners may not let me leave before their dog entered. I was trying to leave as soon as I saw the other dog come toward the gate but in a flash he was in there.

So nope, I won't even go to the training area of the dog park when nobody is in there. It was a shame as my dog was having the time of her life in there. She didn't attack or growl but definitely tried to dominate the other dog. She wanted to play, but her form of play is through dominance and that can change to attack in a flash, I know. In fact, even after the episode she STILL wanted to try and go into the large dog park with the other dogs!

I absolutely have to get a fenced yard.
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:17 PM
Location: MA/NH
17,600 posts, read 36,194,845 times
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Do you have a friend that you can sometimes keep you company while walking your dog? In the case of the dog park incident, had you a friend with you, they could have stood by the gate and stopped the golden retriever lady from entering until you had control of your dog.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:03 AM
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That's a good idea - though I don't think I should take her back there at all. Unless the trainer wants to go work with her there, that's different. I don't know how I'm going to get her the exercise she needs
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:06 AM
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Oh my God! So we just had another scary moment though the only aggressive one was ME and my dog wasn't aggressive at all.

We were walking on leash through the complex like we do every morning. I saw another larger dog on a (insert curse word here) retractable leash, and both dogs wanted to play. I told the owner about yesterday and said I needed to keep them apart. I kept walking. I turn around...there's the other dog, off leash, running toward mine. Or, off the part of the leash that BROKE. So I am totally freaking out. I said three times very strongly to the air because the owner was NOWHERE, "Please call your dog." Finally I see the guy meandering toward me...after I told him about yesterday...and he's laughing and says "the leash broke." (insert many curse words here). He's still not calling the dog. Now my dog hears me yelling and she's scared. So again I did the absolute wrong thing and picked up my 40 pound dog, which would make any onlooker think I was out of my mind because the other dog was sitting there about 6 feet away wagging its tail. But I do not trust my dog after yesterday. FINALLY the guy called his dog and we kept walking but only after my dog tried to run after his and I told her to sit so forcefully that she laid down in submissive pose She seemed pretty unfazed by the whole thing after that.

OK, hit me with it - what should I have done, what shouldn't I have done.

I nearly had a heart attack and I don't know how to do this but I am hyperventilating practically because I was worried about a dog fight with one dog off leash. My dog totally did not want to attack the other dog, she was not aggressive at all, but I don't know what happens when her form of play/dominance displays turn bad...

Damn. I am REALLY upset right now. I was so good with my shih tzu
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:13 AM
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,478 posts, read 7,328,474 times
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I know you're seeing a trainer, but it in addition, perhaps it would be a good idea to read this book: Amazon.com: Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Aggressive Dog: Patricia B. McConnell, Karen B. London: Books.

The author is an acknowledged expert on dog behavior and this book will give you insight into why dogs become leash-reactive and what to do about it.
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